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Effective persuasion and the role of case studies

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By Goke Ilesanmi

It is noteworthy that the ability to communicate persuasively is a skill that can be used in all aspects of our personal or business life. In short, it is said that the difference between an impotent conversationalist and the motivating communicator is the ability to persuade people to participate in win-win relationships. The world would be a very different place without those few individuals who have mastered persuasion skills and used them so effectively throughout generations.

Being able to successfully persuade others to align with your view(s)is a skill that can be developed through training and practice. Experience shows that many people approach persuasion in a way that makes it difficult for them to achieve success.

The good news is that there are many strategies you can adopt to achieve effective persuasion. One of these is to establish your credibility. In the workplace, for instance, credibility comes from expertise and relationships. People are taken as experts if they have a history of sound judgement or have proved themselves well informed about their proposals. They must have demonstrated over time that they work in the best interests of others.

Case studies

Case studies are one of the non-material instruments deploy to achieve effective persuasion. Case studies are histories of business initiatives. They are like articles, but they put readers into the shoes of a person making a difficult decision. Other professions also use case studies. For instance, you must have probably heard of medical case studies, etc. Here, medical students get some facts about a patient and perhaps some background or context, and then must diagnose the patient’s condition or disease.

Research shows that business case studies are popular at many university business schools. In some senses, the case study is the next best thing to being involved in a real case. Now, how is this relevant for you? Well, if you have to persuade others to adopt your point of view, or buy your products, or vote for you, then you might find a case study useful.

Example

In fact, you may be doing something like that already. Whenever you tell a story that is designed to make a certain point, you are using a form of case study. In life insurance sales, for example, it is established that emotion, rather than logic, sells policies. That is why people in the business have a lot of stories about people who did or did not have protection when they died.

The moral, of course, is that you should not only have life insurance, but you should have the right kind, and in the right amount. Now, if you sell life insurance, you will quickly find that no one listens when you explain the logic, but they will listen – and act – if you have your case studies (your anecdotes). So, having gone through all that, is a case study just a fancy name for an anecdote or story? Yes, to a certain extent it is.

More elaborate story

But, when you think of a case study, think of it as a more elaborate and more logically- constructed story. And, it is usually a real-life story. To illustrate the idea further, let us go through the steps involved in creating one. Your case study starts by identifying a person and an organisation, along with relevant information that provides context to the issue addressed in the case.

It also introduces the decision or dilemma. In many cases, the writer sets out two or more possible options. One of those options may be to do nothing, to maintain the status quo. Another option may demand significant changes, and yet a third option would require more modest changes.

Assertions

Experts such as Robert Abbott, author of “A Manager’s Guide to Newsletters: Communicating for Results”, sayhowever you set the options, they should offer distinct choices to the reader and should not allow a muddling-through solution that involves easy compromises. Now that you have set out the choices, provide the basic facts and opinions the reader will need to make a logical choice.

Like the writer of a mystery novel, you need to provide all the critical information without giving away the solution. That is, you employ the literary narrative technique of suspense and denouement or disclosure to arouse and sustain readers’ reading interest. And like a mystery writer, you may introduce a few false trails. As you develop the case study, keep in mind that you are trying to convey that the person or company in the case had to make a difficult decision. And the more the reader feels that difficulty, the more effective the case.

Last words

Finally, provide an outcome if possible. Let the reader know which option the person or company chose, and how that decision worked out. After all, you have been telling a story, and your audience will want to know how it ended. Ideally, you would not give the reader access to the outcome until after he or she makes that decision. You can create your point more powerfully by creating a case study, a specially constructed story that puts the reader or listener in the shoes of a decision maker.

PS: For those making inquiries about our CV/Profile Writing and Speech Writing Services; Political Persuasion and Presentation Course; General Public Speaking and Business Presentation Course; Professional Writing Course, etc., please visit the website indicated on this page for details.

GOKE ILESANMI (FIIM, FIMC, CMC), CEO of Gokmar Communication Consulting, is an International Platinum Columnist, Professional Public Speaker, Career Mgt Coach and Certified Mgt Consultant. He is also a Book Reviewer, Biographer and Editorial Consultant. Tel: 08056030424; 08055068773; 08187499425

Email: [email protected]

Website: www.gokeilesanmi.com.ng

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AGF warns treasury managers against corruption, fraud

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Mrs Oluwatoyin Madein, the Accountant General of the Federation (AGF) has advised treasury managers to guard against corruption, fraud and financial mismanagement by implementing strong internal control mechanisms.

Madein said this at the training programme organised by the Chartered Institute of Treasury Management (CITM) in Abuja on Thursday.

The AGF, who was represented by Alhaji Muhammed Aliyu, Director, Special Duty, said that there was a need to safeguard public funds and protect the interest of government and the public.

“We must remain watchful against the threats of corruption, fraud and financial mismanagement by implementing a strong internal control system and promoting a culture of compliance.”

This, according to her, is in a bid to achieve the virtues and behaviours necessary to curtail corruption in the polity.

She said: “training and professional development are essential in equipping the practitioners with the knowledge and skills necessary to conduct the activities of Treasury Management Ethically.”

“Let us seize this opportunity to expand our understanding of ethical principles and best practices, so as to strengthen our ability to serve the public well.”

She urged the participants to uphold the highest ethical standards in their work and actions as treasury professionals.

According to her, together, we shall strive to build a future where transparency, integrity and accountability will be the focus in management of public finances.

“As professionals, we must resist the temptation of personal interest or undue influence in our decision-making processes.

“We must always prioritise the public interest above all other interests, even in the face of unpleasant situations or pressure from the public.” she said.

She said ethical conduct in treasury management entailed an extremely large number of principles, which includes transparency, honesty, accountability, and fairness.

“We must adhere to these principles seriously, not only to maintain public trust but also to imbibe a culture of integrity and transparency within our organisations.”

She said that as custodian of public funds, treasury managers bear a tremendous responsibility to uphold the highest standards of ethics and integrity in our profession.

Also speaking, the Registrar, CITM, Mr Olumide Adedoyin, said to curtail financial crime, there must be deterrent, adding that enlightenment is also key.

“Once you create awareness, you must empower professional associations particularly associations like CITM, ANAN, ICAN, because where we are going is an evolving journey.

“And along the line, there are gaps that needed to be filled and that is why treasury management becomes important , if you don’t involve treasury management in your financial flow you are going to lose it”, he said.

He said that sound treasury management would help to safeguard the nation’s financial system by fortifying financial inflow and reducing corruption in the system.

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Nigerian telecom operators ask NCC to approve price hike

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Telecommunication operators in Nigeria have said they are the only service providers that have not implemented price increments in the last 11 years despite soaring inflation.

The Association of Licensed Telecom Operators of Nigeria, ALTON, and the Association of Telecommunication Companies of Nigeria, ATCON, disclosed this in a recent joint statement.

The associations noted that current telecom sector pricing does not align with economic realities, threatens the industry’s sustainability, and can erode investors’ confidence.

The operators said the time has come for the Nigerian Communications Commission to approve price increments for the sector.

“ALTON and ATCON respectfully reiterate that telecommunications infrastructure development requires substantial investments in network expansion, maintenance, and technology upgrades.

“Despite the adverse economic headwinds, the telecommunications industry remains the only industry yet to review its general service pricing framework upward in the last (11) years, primarily due to regulatory constraints.

“For a fully liberalized and deregulated sector, the current price control mechanism, which is not aligned with economic realities, threatens the industry’s sustainability and can erode investors’ confidence.

“ATCON and ALTON call upon the government to facilitate a constructive dialogue with industry stakeholders to address pricing challenges and establish a framework that balances consumers’ affordability with operators’ financial viability”, the statement by ALTON Chairman Engr. Gbenga Adebayo, and the President of ATCON, Engr Tony Izuagbe Emoekpere, said.

The development comes amid Nigeria’s soaring inflation, which stood at 33.20 in March 2024. This is as energy costs keep rising in Nigeria.

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Ogun Govt sympathises with victims of Ado Odo/Ota over rainstorm destruction

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…’We’re in touch with IBEDC for prompt action’

Ogun State  Government said it  is in touch with the Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company (IBEDC) to ensure the immediate fixing of poles damaged as a result of rainstorm occasioned by Sunday’s downpour in some parts of Sango in Ado Odo/Ota Local Government Area of the state.

The government, in a statement signed by the Special Adviser on Media, Hon. Kayode Akinmade said a team from the state government was in the area on Monday to physically ascertain the extent of damage and to know how to engage with IBEDC, as well as sympathising with victims.

Akinmade noted the cables had not been energised before the destruction, which saved lots of lives.

“Our team went on physical site inspection of the affected area on Monday to ascertain the extent of the damage and to know how to engage with the IBEDC team.

“We are currently working with the IBEDC team led by the Regional Manager and the Technical Head for the Ogun Region. Some of the less affected feeders have been restored and energised while the clean-up of the most affected areas has already started.

“Most of the poles on the roads have been removed while the remaining will be taken out today (Wednesday). We are working with IBEDC to ensure there will be full restoration of power in Sango Ota before the week runs out.

“The government is not relenting in its effort to make sure that we restore power to Sango Ota and its environs and we can assure the citizens that we are on top on the matter.

“We, therefore, commiserate with those whose properties were destroyed by the fallen poles, as the government urged those living in the area to remain calm.”

Residents of lyana lyesi, Osuke Town, Egan Road, lyana Ilogbo, Ijaba, Ijagba, Itele, Lafenwa, Singer, Joju, Alishiba, Oju Ore, Tollgate, Eledi, Akeja, Abebi, Osi Roundabout, Ota Town, Ota Industrial Estate, Igberen, lju, Atan, Onipanu, Obasanjo, Lusada, Arigba, Odugbe, Ado-Odo, Igbesa, Owode. Olokuta, Hanushi, Bamtish Camp Lufiwape, Eltees Farm, August Engineering, Spark Cear Soap Ayetoro, Amazing Grace Oil, Christopher University, Royal Garden Estate were affected by the disaster.

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